2018 Toyota Tacoma Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Rugged off-pavement capability
- Easily understood controls inside
- Composite truck bed has movable tie-down cleats and power outlet
- Top-level V6 can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission
- Economy-oriented shift programming makes it feel sluggish
- Driving position not ideally suited for taller drivers
- Off-road emphasis produces tall step-up height
- Newly standard advanced driver safety aids (Toyota Safety Sense P)
- Four-cylinder engine's five-speed manual transmission no longer offered
- Part of the third Tacoma generation introduced for 2016
If excellent utility and off-road ability are priorities for your next vehicle, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma should be high on your list. The wealth of available configurations means there's likely a Tacoma that fits your needs, and some of them provide an impressive degree of trail-busting capability.
Alongside those specialized off-road Tacomas with their knobby tires, upgraded suspension and off-road driving aids, there are street-oriented versions of the Tacoma, too. Notably, even the more luxurious trim levels share their siblings' lifted stance. It creates a high step-in height and a slightly unusual seating position, but it also means every Tacoma is at least a little adventure-ready.
The Tacoma has some notable competition. The Honda Ridgeline lacks the Tacoma's rugged look, but it offers all the practicality of a pickup plus innovative storage options, a more carlike ride quality and a roomier interior. There's also the Chevrolet Colorado, which feels like a slightly scaled-down Chevy Silverado full-size truck in many respects and has a superior engine lineup. Overall, though, we think the Tacoma hits the spot for what most midsize pickup shoppers are looking for.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Toyota Tacoma as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize Trucks for this year for 2018.
What's it like to live with?
Want to know what it's like to live with a Toyota Tacoma long term? We did too. So we purchased a 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road and lived with it for nearly two years, putting 40,155 miles on the odometer. The 2018 Tacoma has received some updates, with some additional trim levels and standard safety features such as forward collision warning and lane departure alert, but it's the same generation truck, so most of our observations still apply. To learn more about the Toyota Tacoma, check out all the details in our long-term test, where we cover everything from seat comfort to real-world fuel economy.
Edmunds' Expert Rating8.2 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road Crew Cab (3.5L V6 | 6-speed automatic | 4WD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Toyota Tacoma has received some minor equipment revisions. Our findings are broadly applicable to this year's Toyota Tacoma, however.
|Overall||8.2 / 10|
Noise & vibration7.5
Ease of use9.0
Getting in/getting out6.5
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation
Which Tacoma does Edmunds recommend?
2018 Toyota Tacoma models
The Tacoma is available in six trim levels. The entry-level SR is the work truck of the bunch, with the value-oriented SR5 offering more equipment and more choices. Next up are the very popular and well-equipped TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road variants. The two are identical on the inside, but hardware differences make the TRD Off-Road more capable when the going gets rocky. The more street-oriented Limited used to be the top dog, but that honor now belongs to the TRD Pro, a highly capable and fully equipped off-road machine.
Bare-bones isn't quite the right way to describe the low-dollar SR, the most modestly equipped Tacoma of the lot. Even so, it can be had with an extended cab with a 6.1-foot bed or a crew cab with a 5-foot bed, and you can choose between two-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer case. Its 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. For 2018, all trim levels including the SR gain forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control as standard equipment.
The SR is most easily identified by its dark grille and 16-inch steel wheels. But even this basic Tacoma comes with a sliding rear window, a tough composite bed that needs no bedliner, a movable cleat tie-down system, and a backup camera fitted in the tailgate release handle. Inside, the four-way-adjustable cloth seats have driver-side lumbar adjustment, and the steering wheel tilts, telescopes, and has control buttons that work with the basic Entune stereo, which supports Bluetooth and has a USB interface.
For most buyers, the SR5 is the better deal. In addition to the previous configurations mentioned, you can also get a long-wheelbase version that pairs the crew cab with the 6.1-foot bed. Outwardly, the SR5 gains a chrome rear bumper and a flash of chrome on its charcoal-colored grille. It's got foglights set into its front bumper, and the 16-inch steel wheels can be upgraded to alloys. Remote keyless entry becomes standard, its steering wheel is wrapped in leather, and the sliding rear window uses privacy glass. There's a 4.2-inch information screen between the gauges, and the enhanced Entune audio system supports satellite radio, smartphone-enabled navigation via the Scout GPS app, and Siri Eyes Free voice control.
Next up is the TRD Sport. It is offered in the same cab and bed configurations as the SR5, but it replaces the four-cylinder engine with a 278-hp 3.5-liter V6. All rear-wheel-drive versions use the six-speed automatic, but four-wheel-drive buyers can choose between the automatic and a performance-oriented six-speed manual.
It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, body-colored fender flares and rear bumper, turn signals in the mirror housings and, everyone's favorite, a hood scoop. There's a 400-watt power outlet in the bed, and the crew cab's sliding rear window is power-actuated. Automatic transmission-equipped trucks gain smart entry and push-button start, and all TRD Sports make the jump to full navigation via the Entune premium audio system's 7-inch touchscreen.
The TRD Off-Road offers the same configuration and engine options as the TRD Sport, and its truck bed and interior and audio trimmings are identical. Visual differences include a chrome rear bumper, textured black fender flares and the absence of the Sport's hood scoop. Off-road performance changes loom large in this trim, and these include knobby all-terrain tires on 16-inch alloy wheels, the deletion of the front air dam, extra skid plates, a lockable rear differential, Bilstein monotube shocks, and an advanced off-road traction control system with multiple terrain settings and crawl control.
Both the TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road crew-cab models can be upgraded with a few option packages. Feature highlights include a sunroof, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, leather upholstery, and a JBL speaker upgrade and a subwoofer. It's worth noting that the stereo upgrade is not available on models with the manual transmission.
The Limited is the most civilized version of the Tacoma. It is only offered as a V6-powered crew cab with the short bed in either two- or four-wheel drive. It has body-colored flares and rear bumper, and it rolls on 18-inch wheels with lower-profile tires. It lacks the TRD Off-Road's specialized off-road upgrades and is instead upgraded with just about all of the Off-Road and Sport's optional features as standard equipment.
The TRD Pro is sold only as a crew cab with a short bed, and it comes only in four-wheel drive. The V6 engine is standard, but you can choose between the manual and the automatic transmission. It's equipped like a loaded-up TRD Off-Road but sets itself apart with special styling details, including a black throwback grille with "Toyota" spelled out in capital letters. Most notably, it has special Fox internal bypass shocks that give it more off-road capability as well as a tougher stance that's an inch broader and an inch taller.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Tacoma models:
- Blind-Spot Monitor
- Issues a visual or audio warning if the driver initiates a lane change when another vehicle is there or approaching rapidly.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Alerts the driver if traffic is approaching from the side when the car is backing out of a perpendicular or angled parking space.
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Warns of potential collisions with pedestrians or vehicles and automatically applies the brakes if the driver does not react in time.
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover14.7%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma Overview
The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma is offered in the following submodels: Tacoma Access Cab, Tacoma Double Cab. Available styles include TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), SR 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD PRO 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), TRD Sport 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6M), SR 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 5.0 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Double Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SR5 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), TRD Off Road 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and SR5 4dr Access Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned Toyota Tacoma models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 278 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automatic. The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ 25000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma SR is priced between $24,698 and$38,590 with odometer readings between 6265 and101239 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport is priced between $32,499 and$43,998 with odometer readings between 8104 and81590 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road is priced between $33,981 and$45,990 with odometer readings between 16420 and105325 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma SR5 is priced between $20,222 and$37,994 with odometer readings between 19835 and75789 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma Limited is priced between $36,998 and$40,998 with odometer readings between 7694 and55175 miles.
- The Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO is priced between $40,272 and$46,998 with odometer readings between 35214 and78716 miles.
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Which used 2018 Toyota Tacomas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Toyota Tacoma for sale near. There are currently 105 used and CPO 2018 Tacomas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,222 and mileage as low as 6265 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Toyota Tacoma.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Toyota Tacoma?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.